Michaeline: FKA twigs Inspires Me to Write Gorgeously

You’ve gotta see this! FKA twigs performs on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, and the performance is so layered and wonderful – stay for the dancing at the end.

Everything works for me in this video. You have a stark setting, but one where every component has a use and meaning – the long piano that leads to the pole, the bare stage for three performers with minimal light. You have tone – echoed in the lighting, in her voice, and in the tone of the instruments. You have a gorgeous costume that strips down to reveal not a beautiful butterfly, but rather the chrysalis that was hiding inside. And you have the dancing – ethereal and effortless (but any kid who has done a pull-up on the monkey bars knows how much muscle control must go into that “effortless” look).

All of it serves to reinforce the story: a person has loved, and has just lost (and hasn’t quite accepted it yet, or is gathering strength to try again).

It’s National Novel Writing Month, and even if you aren’t playing along, maybe you can spare a little time to add some layering into your work. If you are doing NaNo, then it’s all good – every experiment is word-count! As writers, we work with words, and can’t depend on fancy camera angles or pretty pictures. But the magic of words does mean we can create setting, tone, costumes and anything in the realm of our imaginations. So, take a risk when writing today – let your writing take on a tinge of poetry, or the color of the characters’ feelings.

Have fun!

7 thoughts on “Michaeline: FKA twigs Inspires Me to Write Gorgeously

  1. It’s a beautiful video, and the pole dancing is lovely. And the instrumentals and dancing reinforce the story of the song. For my personal taste, though, give me Janis Joplin doing “Me and Bobby McGee”!

    Good luck and best wishes on your NaNo adventure! May your plots and paragraphs never falter and the words flow abundantly from your fingers.

  2. That’s gorgeous, Michaeline. Thank you for sharing!

    I love the choreography and emotion in Pink’s video for Try, though it could politely be described as ‘edgy.’ I think it’s beautiful and, like FKA Twigs’ pole dancing, super-skilled. I appreciate it might not be for everyone. Here’s the Youtube link (fingers crossed it works ok) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTCDVfMz15M

    Good luck and fast writing to everyone who’s Nano-ing this month!

    • That reminds me so much of David Bowie dancing with Louise Lecavalier (La La La Human Steps) (“Look Back in Anger”). There’s such a strong physicality and anger as well as love/passion being expressed. I think Pink goes farther, and has no hesitation in turning the male dancer into an alpha-hole — the strangulation and kicking to the genitals are important to the piece and what she’s saying, but it makes me think, “Why is she with this guy?” However, there is no arguing with the human heart — we can try to control it and make the right choices, but feelings have to go away on their own time, I think.

      Very powerful, and it’d be great to capture some of that energy in a scene.

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